Apple recently announced the winners of the Apple Design Awards, highlighting indie apps and startups over larger tech companies, including those offering AI chatbots. The list of finalists favored small to midsize app makers and venture-backed startups, showcasing a variety of innovative software available on the platform.

While big names like ChatGPT were absent from the list, smaller players like Copilot Money, SmartGym, and creative app Procreate Dreams were recognized for their contributions. One standout app, Arc Search, incorporated AI technology, allowing users to ask questions by simply raising the phone to their ear.

Although ChatGPT saw significant downloads last year, both Apple and Google did not name it their “app of the year” in 2023. Despite the app’s success, it was once again overlooked in the Design Awards. The list of finalists also featured indie games like Rytmos, finity, The Wreck, and The Bear, along with non-game apps such as Meditate, Sunlitt, Dudel Draw, and Bears Gratitude.

In addition to indie efforts, larger developers like Neowiz, 505 Games, and Activision were also recognized for their use of Apple technologies and optimizations. The finalists list included a diverse range of titles, from What the Car? and Hello Kitty Island Adventure to Cityscapes: Sim Builder and Little Nightmares.

Apple also highlighted inclusivity in its awards, featuring apps like oko, Complete Anatomy 2024, and Tiimo that cater to users with different needs. The winners of the Apple Design Awards were selected based on values and capabilities endorsed by Apple, including categories like “Delight and Fun,” “Inclusivity,” “Innovation,” “Interaction,” “Social Impact,” “Visual and Graphics,” and “Spatial Computing.”

Among the winners were Bears Gratitude, NYT Games, Crayola Adventures, Procreate Dreams, Lost in Play, Crouton, Rytmos, Gentler Streak Fitness Tracker, The Wreck, Rooms, Lies of P, djay, and Blackbox. These apps and games stood out for their creativity, impact, and innovation in their respective categories.

Overall, the Apple Design Awards celebrated the diversity and creativity of the app development community, showcasing a range of talents from indie developers to larger studios. The recognition of innovative and impactful apps and games highlights the ongoing evolution and growth of the app ecosystem on the Apple platform.